Brett Eldredge after just announcing a new album, is touring the UK again. His was the last show I saw before lockdown and the energy and devotion he showed his UK fans stuck with me through the pandemic. I was keen to find out more about the tour and what his UK fans mean to him.
When did you first know you wanted to be a musician?
When I was a kid, I was very nervous. I loved to sing and I had a huge voice, but I would be really nervous to sing in front of people. I found the confidence through people recognising that I had this voice, and then I started to grow, and eventually stopped staring at the floor and stare out into the crowd. I would sing at church or wherever they would put me on locally. And eventually, I just grew to love it and I knew I got to chase this down somehow. I started going to school for it. Then eventually I moved to Nashville to chase it down and kept grinding away. I started to write songs for a living and then got a recording contract and became a recording artist and a songwriter.
What music did your family play to you growing up?
My family played a lot of The Eagles, BTO and REO Speedwagon. Then I got into Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra. It was my friends that got me into the country side of things like Brooks and Dunn, I never looked back after that.
Can you remember the first song you ever wrote?
I remember writing a song in college, I didn’t know what I was doing at all, I didn’t even know I was writing a song. I think it was called ‘You Made Me Who I Am’, or something like that. It was pretty basic but it served its purpose. I remember thinking, this is cool, but I didn’t really understand it. So I moved to Nashville and I saw people get on stage, like at the Bluebird, or, the first place that I played was nowhere near as cool as the Bluebird, it was like a hotel lobby. I see people playing songs, I’d be like, I want to be able to do that but I still love to write songs and I wrote a lot of songs from my upcoming album over the last year and a half and it’s turned out really well.
My favourite song of yours is ‘Something I’m Good At’, it really captures your live energy as well, can you tell me about the story behind that song?
Yeah, that one was crazy. I wrote that with my friend Tom Douglas, who’s an incredible songwriter and he’s also very poetic, a lot of time we’re writing these heartbreak songs, like I have a song called One Mississippi and it’s one of my favourites I’ve written, it’s more heartbreak and poetic and this is very quirky in its own way and it talks about my individuality I guess of who I am and just trying to be unapologetic about it. So we recorded it in that fashion – all over the place, like a roller coaster. I love when something feels that creative and it takes you to the depths of your soul. Even if it’s a fun song, that’s literally what’s going through my mind sometimes – that craziness, that song.
The last gig I saw before the pandemic was your show in Manchester in 2020, how does it feel to finally be back on the road?
We started touring back here last year, but they were the last gigs I played before the pandemic, and basically taking two years off. I’d left that tour in the UK with so much excitement. I’ve been dying to get to taste that excitement again.
You’re performing in the UK again this week, when you’re on stage are you completely focused or do you let your mind wander?
It depends on the day. It’s pretty interesting, sometimes you carry what’s going on in your personal life on the stage, and you’ve got it in your head. Some days you’re really amped. Some days, when you’re out of energy, what I do is, I find somebody in the crowd that is having time of their life, you connect with them, and they give you their energy. Sometimes I’ve got all the energy, and I can just explode everywhere. And sometimes, I reach for that one person, or at least a group of people that I know, have been waiting for this moment, for a long time that it takes me out of my head, the tough spot I’m in or whatever. Because you’re playing tons and tons of shows all the time, and I love to do it but the reality is, it’s never going to be, sunshine and rainbows every time you walk on the stage. But the fact that you get to walk on the stage is a big deal. So I’m usually able to pull myself out of a funk pretty quick, if I realise I’m just playing music. Then I find somebody in the crowd and it sets me free. That’s exactly the therapy that I needed that whole day.
What can fans expect on this tour?
It’s cool to see the energy of the whole band, being able to go somewhere far away from home and to see fans and meet people and experience a new thing that we don’t often get to do. I think that’s why I love coming over there and seeing everybody, is the passion of the fans. That last tour being the success it was right before the pandemic started, to be able to get back that feeling again, and to feel that connection on stage. You’re gonna be able to let yourself be free, have fun and forget about what’s going on outside the doors. To really enjoy the music and have a have a good couple hours of fun.
What’s been your proudest moment of your career so far?
I think right now, being where I am, I think that’s my proudest moment, because I’ve been able to take it at the speed I want to take it, not try to live out somebody else’s career, but my career, be my individual self, learning to be able to say no to things that just don’t serve my soul. To be able to put my heart fully into things that I can really contribute to and love and passionately do.
What’s next for you?
The album is certainly next, when you start getting to this point, I’ll be shooting music videos. I try to slow it down as much as I can; travel, see different things, it makes me write better songs and makes me live my life and when I go on the European tour or whatever, I go early, and I stay late. I try to see new things and gather these experiences. So I think I’m just gonna be living my life and enjoying it.